Everything to know about musician Lenny Kravitz, actress Lisa Bonet and their relationship with daughter Zoë Kravitz
Lenny told PEOPLE in 2020 that he and Zoë "have a very open dialogue," and their relationship reminds him of the tight bond he saw between his mother, late Jeffersons actress Roxie Roker, and his grandfather.
"My mother and my grandfather had a very close relationship — to the point where, as a teenager, I thought it was ridiculous," he said. "I would just say, like, 'You guys are on top of each other all the time.' They loved each other, and they valued each other. So when I see the relationship between Zoë and myself, I see the relationship between my mother and my grandfather. It makes me very happy that we've elevated to that level."
Despite her close relationship with Lenny, Zoë "thought about not using" her famous father's last name when she began her career as an actress.
"I thought about just going by my middle name, Isabella, Zoë Isabella, and I kind of tried to do it, but it just didn't stick," she said in 2020 on Armchair Expert with Dax Shepard. "People kept on forgetting. No one was responding to this idea I had. I would tell my agent and it just wasn't happening."
Lenny wasn't a big fan of the idea either. "I also think I mentioned it to my dad at one point and I think I could feel that it made him a little sad," she continued. "So, yeah, I just kind of stuck with it. I did used to be really insecure about people just associating me with my family and now I love it — I'm so proud of them and it's cool."
Not only did she keep her last name professionally, but she also carries the life lessons Lenny passed down to her: "Love, respect, and hard work, honor and discipline, all the stuff I learned," he told PEOPLE in 2019.
"She's amazing, and she's all the things that I would have hoped for," he said. "I'm a dad, you know, but we're friends. We're very close. We talk about everything. We don't hide things from each other."
Here's everything to know about Zoë Kravitz's relationship with her parents, Lenny Kravitz and Lisa Bonet.
Zoë is Lenny and Lisa's only child together
The musician and the actress met backstage at a New Edition concert in Los Angeles in 1985. They eloped in Las Vegas on Nov. 16, 1987, Lisa's 20th birthday, and welcomed their only child, daughter Zoë Isabella Kravitz, on Dec. 1, 1988.
"Lisa and I just like to be together," Lenny told PEOPLE in 1989. "We just hang out at home with our kid. We're kinda boring really."
Zoë was only 2 when her parents split up in 1991, and they divorced in 1993. Lenny wrote "It Ain't Over 'til It's Over" about the end of their relationship. The song, from his 1991 album Mama Said, was ultimately his breakout hit, peaking at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100.
Despite their separation, Lenny told PEOPLE in 2020 that it was important to him that he and Lisa remain close.
"It's essential," he said. "We have a child, and we love each other just as much as before — it's just a different situation. It takes time, work and dedication, but that is something that the two of us had."
Zoë has two half-siblings from Lisa's relationship with Jason Momoa. Lisa and Momoa met at a jazz club in 2005 and welcomed their first child together, daughter Lola Iolani Momoa, in July 2007. Son Nakoa-Wolf Manakauapo Namakaeha Momoa joined the family in December 2008. The couple secretly tied the knot in October 2017 and shocked fans when they announced their breakup in January 2022.
Zoë also shared a positive relationship with her stepfather. "I hope and pray my daughter is that talented and loving and open and close to her family," Momoa said of Zoë in a 2020 interview with Men's Health, also sharing, "I love her dad."
Lenny spoke of his "tight" friendship with Momoa in his own cover story with Men's Health one month prior. "People can't believe how tight Jason and I are, or how tight I still am with Zoë's mom, how we all relate," he said. "We just do it because that's what you do. You let love rule, right?"
They spent time on both coasts
Zoë was raised in L.A. and Miami but now considers Brooklyn, New York, home. Lenny took the opposite route: He was born in Manhattan on May 26, 1964, to Jeffersons star Roxie Roker and TV producer Sy Kravitz. He grew up in both New York City and L.A. and graduated from Beverly Hills High School in 1982.
When Lenny was younger, he would travel with his mother to the Bahamas to visit her family during the summers, he told Travel + Leisure in 2019. He now splits his time between homes in the Bahamas (where he has a recording studio on the rural island of Eleuthera), Paris and Rio de Janeiro.
Lisa, on the other hand, is a California girl through and through. She was born in San Francisco on Nov. 16, 1967, to Arlene Joyce Litman, a schoolteacher, and Allen Bonet, an opera singer from Texas. She graduated from Birmingham High School in Van Nuys, California, and studied acting in North Hollywood.
After Lenny and Lisa broke up, Zoë lived with her mom in Topanga Canyon, a secluded neighborhood near L.A. known for its hippie communes in the '60s and '70s. Lisa is still based in nearby Malibu, California.
"My mom did a really good job of keeping me sheltered," Zoë told Elle U.K. in 2018 — though there were still plenty of celebrities around, like godmother Marisa Tomei or Lenny's friend Mick Jagger. "I didn't have television growing up, and I didn't have internet at the house. I was allowed to watch one movie a weekend that we had on VHS that she would choose."
The High Fidelity star opened up to Rolling Stone in 2018 about her relationship with her dad during those years in Topanga. "He wasn't absent. But he was working a lot. I didn't feel abandoned or anything," she said. "But when you're that age, and someone comes and goes, it feels like Santa Claus or something — it's this event."
At 11, Zoë moved in with Lenny in Miami. "He'd pick me up, and the entire school would flock to the parking lot," she recalled. "And he wasn't being subtle: He'd show up in a sports car and leather pants and a netted shirt. Like, 'Dude, can you just be low-key a little bit?' "
Just a shirt that I can't see your nipples through would be so dope," she quipped.
They are both half Black and half Jewish
Both Lenny and Lisa are half Black and half Jewish: Lenny's mother was first-generation Bahamian American, and his father was of Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry. Lisa's mother was also Jewish, while her father was African American. Zoë told Elle U.K. that as a multiracial teenager, she "felt like a freak."
"It was a rough time for someone trying to discover who they are," she told the outlet. "I went to a private school in Miami, surrounded by wealthy kids, mostly White. I felt like a freak because my hair was different, and little kids would come up and say, 'Can I feel your hair?' The things that made me different were the things I didn't like about myself; I wanted to straighten my hair, remind people that I was half White."
The Mad Max: Fury Road star also opened up about how her upbringing and her famous father's love life affected her self-image.
"I went through a really awkward phase. I was short and Brown, surrounded by tall girls with boobs and blonde hair," she said. "And my dad was dating supermodels, so I was waking up to Adriana Lima. I didn't have beauty as a crutch, and I'm thankful for that because I had to develop my personality."
Despite the hardships, Zoë embraces her heritage. "Jews and African Americans have had so much pain, carried so much on their shoulders and come so far," she said.
Zoë followed in their artistic footsteps
Lenny first started his career at age 16, performing under the stage name Romeo Blue. He released his debut album, Let Love Rule, in 1989, and has since dropped 10 more studio albums, plus his other EPs and singles. In addition to "It Ain't Over 'til It's Over," his biggest hits include "I Belong to You," his cover of "American Woman" and "Are You Gonna Go My Way." In 1999, he won his first Grammy for the song "Fly Away."
In addition to acting, Zoë is a singer like her dad. She started off fronting the band Elevator Fight in 2009 and has been one-half of the R&B and electropop duo Lolawolf since 2013.
"She's loving doing this music. It's a trip to watch," Lenny told PEOPLE in 2009. "I have nothing to do with it, which is brilliant. She is just doing her thing, and it's really good. … Whatever she wants to do, I trust her fully. She's got great instincts. She's much smarter than I am."
Beyond the music world, Lenny is an actor, having starred in films like Precious, The Hunger Games franchise and Lee Daniels' The Butler. He's also a photographer, having showed his first exhibit, "Flash," at Art Basel Miami Beach in 2015. Lenny also owns the interior design firm Kravitz Design and published a memoir, Let Love Rule, in 2020.
Lenny has admitted that his dedication to his craft has made for a rough time in his personal life. After his split from Lisa, he dated singer Vanessa Paradis, model Adriana Lima and actress Nicole Kidman, but he told PEOPLE in 2019, "I would really like [to find love]. But it's difficult for me being so dedicated to my art, which is not an excuse, it's just difficult."
When she met Lenny, Lisa was starring as Denise Huxtable on The Cosby Show. In 1986, she was nominated for an Emmy for her role. Lisa briefly left the hit show in 1987 to reprise her role in the first season of Denise's spinoff, A Different World, but she exited the sitcom after announcing she was pregnant with her first baby. She later returned to The Cosby Show.
In the years since, she's appeared in about a dozen small screen projects, including as host of a 1992 election special, Why Bother Voting?, and a recurring role on season 4 of Ray Donovan. She has also starred in films like Angel Heart, Enemy of the State and Biker Boyz and directed music videos, including Lenny's "Stand by My Woman" in 1991. In 2000, Lisa appeared in the rom-com High Fidelity; Twenty years later, Zoë starred in the Hulu series based on the original film with her mother.
Lenny regularly sings his daughter's praises
The "American Woman" singer is known to honor Zoë on social media for her birthday. For her 34th, Lenny posted a sepia-toned throwback pic from her toddler years. "Happy birthday @zoeisabellakravitz," he wrote. "There isn't a moment that I don't marvel at who and what you are. I'm so grateful that God chose us. I love you."The year prior, he shared another childhood photo of Zoë making sand castles at the beach. "So many more castles to build together," he wrote. "I love you endlessly."
Lenny has been one of Zoë's most vocal supporters over the years — in 2022, he gave her a shout-out for her role as Catwoman in The Batman. "Congratulations, my love, on this iconic moment. I am so proud of you," he wrote on Instagram.
He also shared sweet words following her Saturday Night Live hosting debut in 2022. "To see you shine in the same building where your grandparents met and worked was surreal. You were perfection," he wrote alongside a photo of himself giving her a kiss on the cheek.
Back in 2011, Lenny told Details that he was "not a jealous dad" when it came to Zoë being in the public eye. "I trust her judgment. She's well equipped, and she needs to go out and do her own thing," he told the outlet. "She's seen enough and was loved enough by both her mom and me that she has made me proud on every account."
They've taken their daughter to work — including to the red carpet
When Zoë was younger, she used to join her parents at work, which often entailed red carpet events and TV appearances. While promoting The Batman on The Tonight Show in 2022, she reminisced about the time her dad brought her to an interview, where she performed a rendition of TLC's "No Scrubs."
"My dad was doing an interview for VH1, and I think he went to the bathroom and then I was like, 'It's my turn!' " Zoë recalled to host Jimmy Fallon. Fallon played the clip of 7-year-old Zoë "being a ham" and singing the song's chorus, after which the actress asked with a laugh, "Why am I wearing a tiara? I don't know."
Lisa carried 6-month-old Zoë at the 1989 TV special Our Common Future. As she grew older, Zoë accompanied her dad to big events like the 2000 Grammys and many fashion shows, like the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show in 2002 and Marc Jacobs' Fall 2007 show during New York Fashion Week. She also attended plenty of red carpet events, like the 2006 premiere of Ask the Dust and the Independent Spirit Awards in 2010. She even joined her dad on the Oscars red carpet.
Bonet has also been by her side on red carpets, including the 2011 premiere of Conan the Barbarian, the 2013 Chanel pre-Oscars dinner, the 2015 InStyle Awards and several Vanity Fair Oscar parties.
Despite her recognizable last name and comfort in front of a camera from a young age, Lenny told PEOPLE in 2020 that Zoë carved out an acting career "on her own."
"In school she never told people who her parents were. She would make me pick her up down the block," he said. "Some kids might've used it to their advantage, but it wasn't her style. She's done an amazing job. I know that my mother is very proud of her — not just her accomplishments, but her behavior, her attitudes, the way she has done what she's done and the kind of human being that she is."
Lenny has worked with his daughter
In fall 2018, Lenny put together a Studio 54-inspired photography exhibition through his work as creative director of Dom Pérignon. The gallery featured images of a dinner party attended by Zoë and other famous faces, including designer Alexander Wang, actor Harvey Keitel and actress Susan Sarandon.
The Grammy-winning musician credited his daughter with getting the group animated at the party. "It started off with people standing around; it can be stiff," he told PEOPLE in 2018. "So we just started to hang out and talk and my daughter was the catalyst. She got everybody to relax and got everybody talking. By the end you can see everybody really knows each other now, everybody's really having a good time and it's not fake."
But he initially wasn't going to invite his daughter to the event. "I would have never mentioned it [to Dom Pérignon] because that would have been [like nepotism], 'Oh yeah let me bring my daughter in,' " he explained.
"It would have to be the right thing," he said. "But I would love to work with her one day. I adore her, and it would be a lot of fun."
They attended the Met Gala as a family
Lenny and Lisa arrived side by side at the 2015 Met Gala, where they were joined by Zoë. The theme that year was "China: Through the Looking Glass."
The "Fly Away" singer posted a photo of the trio at the event and wrote, "#MetBall2015. Family." That same year, Zoë spoke to Ocean Drive magazine about her parents' relationship, saying the pair had "so much love for each other."
They both embrace individuality
"Both my parents are people who have always marched to the beat of their drum and embraced their individuality," she shared, adding that she was taught to listen to her body and take care of her skin. She shared the same "cliché" with O, The Oprah Magazine in 2013. "This industry can be judgmental, and it's easy to feel like you want to change according to what's cool at that moment," she said. "My dad has stayed true to himself, and that's led me to do the same."
The Kimi actress has apparently taken more than just fashion advice from her parents — she's also raided their closets!
"Zoë has a lot of my stuff," Lenny told Details in 2011. "She took all my boas from the Mama Said era. They were in storage, and I yelled at her, 'Don't steal my boas!' She laughed and said, 'Those words would not come out of most fathers' mouths.' "
Lenny hosted Zoë's wedding at his Paris home — and he and Lisa gave speeches
The Gemini star and Glusman were first linked in October 2016, and she confirmed she was engaged in October 2018. For the intimate interview in Rolling Stone's annual Hot Issue, the actress channeled her mom's iconic 1988 nude cover shoot, during which Lisa posed nude while two months pregnant with Zoë. (When Zoë shared a photo from the shoot on Instagram, Lenny joked, "Runs in the family.")
Zoë and Glusman wed in June 2019 at Lenny's home in Paris. Both Lenny and Lisa gave speeches at the wedding, and Zoë later shared on the Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon that her mother came prepared but her father did not.
"The night before, I was like, 'I guess I should probably ask you guys to say something?' And so, the next day at the wedding, my mom opens a journal and she's written something beautiful," Zoë recalled. "My dad said when he saw that, he was like, 'S—.' "Despite his fears, Lenny's speech ended up making his daughter cry. "It was beautiful," she said. "He went up and gave one of the most beautiful speeches I've ever heard and I was in tears and it kind of made the night."
In 2022, Zoë told Elle that her divorce from Glusman stemmed from her learning more about herself. "Karl's an incredible human being. It really is less about him and more about me learning how to ask myself questions about who I am and still learning who I am, and that being okay. That's the journey I'm on right now," she said.
"I feel optimistic about life, and I think that comes hand in hand with it," Zoë added. "All my relationships in life — my friendships, my romantic relationships, my family — the journey is learning how to show up honestly."
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